Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Texas House approves sweeping voter restriction bill

Texas state Democrats left the House floor late Sunday in an attempt to block a restrictive voting bill from passing, per the Texas Tribune reports.

Why it matters: Texas is the latest Republican-controlled state to push for stricter voting laws in the aftermath of baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud during the 2020 election, though the state has faced pushback from major corporations and advocatesover the bill.


  • The legislation would have placed limits on whether people can vote early, vote by mail, or vote from their cars.

What's new: The House has adjourned until 10am Monday following the walkout.

Background: Senate Republicans suspended chamber rules on Saturday night in order to review the legislation, 12 pages of which had not been previously considered and were added without public visibility, the Tribune reports.

  • A tighter window for early Sunday voting was approved, which one state senator said could limit "souls to the polls," a tradition in Black communities where people vote after church.

Details: Senate Bill 7 bans drive-through and 24-hour early voting as used in Harris County, where Houston is located, in the last election, per the Tribune. Black and Hispanic voters had cast more than half of the drive-thru votes and extended hour votes in Harris County last year.

  • The bill prevents election officials from sending absentee ballots to all voters, prohibits the use of temporary structures at polling locations and limits voting hours in other large counties.
  • It also requires citizens to provide their driver’s license numbers or the last four digits of their Social Security numbers to request a mailed ballot. Voters will be required to include the same information on envelopes when they return their ballots for their votes to be counted.

The big picture: Voting advocacy organizations, civil rights groups and state Democrats have warned that the bill targets people of color and marginalized groups. Major corporations like HP, Microsoft and Unilever urged state lawmakers to reject the bill.

  • Georgia and Florida have already enacted new voting restrictions led by Republicans in the name of election integrity.
  • The Justice Department found no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would have changed the outcome of the presidential election, former Attorney General Bill Barr said in December.

President Biden on Saturday called the bill "part of an assault on democracy that we’ve seen far too often this year — and often disproportionately targeting Black and Brown Americans."

  • "It’s wrong and un-American. In the 21st century, we should be making it easier, not harder, for every eligible voter to vote," Biden added. "I call again on Congress to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act."

What to watch: Voting rights groups have pledged to challenge the bill in court and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) was expected to sign it into law once passed by the Republican majority.

Reports: Trump DOJ subpoenaed Apple for records of WH counsel Don McGahn

Apple told former Trump administration White House counsel Don McGahn last month that the Department of Justice subpoenaed information about accounts of his in 2018, the New York Times first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: Although it's unclear why the DOJ took the action, such a move against a senior lawyer representing the presidency is highly unusual.

Keep reading... Show less

Pelosi demands Barr and Sessions testify on data subpoenas she says go "beyond Richard Nixon"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told CNN Sunday that former Attorneys General William Barr and Jeff Sessions should testify before Congress on reports that the Trump-era Department of Justice seized Democrats' and journalists' data records.

Driving the news: DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced Friday an internal investigation into the matter, and Pelosi expressed disbelief to CNN's Dana Brash at assertions that neither Barr nor Sessions knew of probes into lawmakers.

Keep reading... Show less

Shipping giant CEO says business have to avoid global politics

The CEO of the world's largest container-shipping company cautions that international firms have to be careful of taking political stances.

  • What they're saying: "We cannot run a global business if we start to have views on politics in every single country that we are in," Maersk CEO Søren Skou tells "Axios on HBO."
Keep reading... Show less

Chamber of Commerce CEO Suzanne Clark defends overture to Democrats

U.S. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Suzanne Clark told me on "Axios on HBO" that the business group was right to endorse vulnerable House Democrats last year, despite the flak that resulted from Republicans.

  • Clark, who took over the top job in March, said those House Democrats "had really helped push business's number one priority, which was the free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, over the finish line."
  • "All of the Republicans that we work with on tax, on regulation — those people are really, really important to us," she added: "So we have to be willing to have a different coalition on every issue."
Keep reading... Show less

Nuclear watchdog: “Essential” to have deal with Iran

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency tells "Axios on HBO" that it's "essential" to have a nuclear deal with Iran because otherwise "we are flying blind."

Driving the news: Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi sat down with "Axios on HBO" at IAEA headquarters in Vienna, ahead of Iran's June 18 presidential election and a June 24 extension on negotiations seeking to restore curtailed surveillance of Iranian nuclear sites and salvage the 2015 deal.

Keep reading... Show less

U.N. ambassador Thomas-Greenfield sees tough Putin summit

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., told me on "Axios on HBO" that President Biden will be candid, frank — and tough — during this week's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • "The president will make clear to the Russians that they cannot harbor cyber terrorists and criminals in their country and not be held accountable for it," she added. "And they need to take the responsibility for dealing with this issue."
Keep reading... Show less

Dems’ go-it-alone approach faces big hurdles as left’s frustrations spill over

If a bipartisan group of lawmakers fails to strike a deal on the infrastructure proposal it's negotiating with the White House, ramming through a package using the partisan reconciliation process isn't a guaranteed solution.

Why it matters: Getting 51 Democratic votes would be a long, uphill battle. And moderates within the party are balking at the cost of President Biden's spending — even as progressives openly lament that the "transformational" change they seek is slipping out of reach.

Keep reading... Show less

America's U.N. ambassador: "I will always push for women to be part of negotiation teams"

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has argued over her 39-year diplomatic career that educating and empowering women and girls is an investment in peace and security for their nations.

  • "I will always push for women to be part of negotiation teams," she told me in the State Department Treaty Room, during an interview for "Axios on HBO."
  • "I notice ... when they're not in the room. ... Sometimes I'm the only one," she added with a laugh. "And I will call it out."
Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories